Kate in Norfolk today mentioned news hitting the Daily Telegraph: two battles just brewing, one over which place – Chawton or Bath? – can be said to deserve the title of Jane Austen’s ‘true home’; and the other being a tearoom propriator who wants to patent a ‘Jane Austen’ line of teas and coffees. Read the stories here – and check back periodically to see what more is happening, as these stories undoubtedly continue to unfold.
Jane would so chuckle at all this fussing and fighting over turf. There’s room for all, frankly.
When Kate first told of this ‘controversy,’ I wrote the following to her in reply:
Hmmm, territorial fighting… Makes Mozart pop into my head. Now, I think I have confessed that I adore (A-DORE) Salzburg – but the man hated it (and who can blame him; it was a backwater!). Today: Mozart, Mozart, Sound of Music, Mozart. Yet he lived 10 years — and the last 10 years of his life — in Vienna. Sure Vienna has SO many musicians to choose from, but they let Salzburg have him and they have their own Mozart house – not as famous as his birthplace. But that’s fine: there is room for all.
Chawton has a ‘right’ to say, she rewrote and wrote anew while here — that’s a GREAT reason to celebrate it. Bath is good to say, we glimpse our city as it was 200 years ago because Austen portrayed it in her novels. Why can’t they both rejoice? When you think about it, why would she mention such an out-of-the-way little village in her books: but any of her little villages could very well BE Chawton…
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